Leading candidate to fight Amir Khan might surprise you 3 months ago

Leading candidate to fight Amir Khan might surprise you

Amir Khan intends to make 2018 his busiest year in quite some time.

Not since 2011 has Khan fought three times in a calendar year but the former light-welterweight world champion hopes to make up for lost time now that he's signed a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable.

Having been brutally knocked out by Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in May 2016, Khan hasn't returned to the ring since but he is aiming to get some momentum behind him quickly after his stint on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! before setting up a world title fight towards the end of the year.

"I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Matchroom," Khan said. "This decision is not one I’ve taken lightly, as I’m at a hugely important time in my career, but having spoken to Eddie at length, it was clear he and I were on the same page in terms of what I want to be doing and what I still want to achieve.

"I’m determined to win another world championship and I’m confident I’ve got the right team behind me to help me do so."

Khan's comeback bout is scheduled to take place in Liverpool's Echo Arena on April 21, a date which rival promoter Frank Warren is none too pleased about, but there has been no indication about a potential opponent.

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It's been suggested that the 31-year-old will be paired up with an opponent who isn't likely to cause Khan much problems and, according to South African fighter Chris van Heerden, he's leading the race to welcome 'King' back to the ring.

The former IBO welterweight champion, who hit the headlines last year for publishing footage of a sparring session with Conor McGregor, took to Instagram to reveal that he'd heard a rumour that he was the front-runner to share the ring with Khan.

RUMOR has it my phone might ring!!!!! Woke up to a buzzing phone with news that i am on the Short list of Boxers to fight Amir Khan in UK next and by sources (Star paper UK ,Boxingscene.com & WorldBoxingNews WBN) i’m leading the race!!! Well my phone is ON and with me 24/7 You can phone now! I have only Respect for Khan (the man has done it all his achievements speaks volumes and real boxing lovers would agree with me) it would be an Honor for me to travel to UK as it has always been my bucket list/Dream to fight in front of thousands of the most passionate Boxing fan ever in my opinion!!!! LETS GO!!! #VanHeerdenKhan #Amirkhan #TheHeat #🇿🇦🇬🇧 #Boxing #TeamVanHeerden #Respect #LetsGo #UK #proudlysouthafrican #rumorhasit #Champions #Boxingnews

A post shared by Chris “The Heat” Van Heerden (@chrisvanheerden001) on

Hearn, who's not exactly been Khan's biggest fan in the past, has put their bad blood to one side in order to concentrate on business, with the hope that the Athens 2004 silver medallist can get consecutive wins under his belt before a monster fight towards the end of the year.

"The plan is to box in April and then again in August or September in preparation for a super fight in Winter 2018," Hearn said.

"The target is to provide him with the biggest fights possible with a mouth-watering list of names including the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence.